Outgoing Legislature holds special session

By Eric Huang ,The China Post

The China Post–The outgoing Legislative Yuan yesterday help the first day of a 2-day extraordinary session to handle 21 urgent bills.

After over an hour of negotiations starting at 10:30 a.m. and ending at 11:40 a.m., Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said the ruling and opposition parties reached an agreement to pass the necessary bills smoothly and will not hold open discussions or official votes on any issue. Wang said he expected the bills to pass in an orderly and speedy manner.

The majority of bills on the agenda were draft amendments related to a government-restructuring project. The others are proposed amendments to acts and laws governing the organization of the education department, the nation’s foreign representative office and other Cabinet agencies, the Directorate-General of Budget Accounting and Statistic Act, as well as government employee ethics units.

Outgoing Kuomintang (KMT) caucus whip Lin Yishi (林益世) said the 21 bills were proposed by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), so they were highly agreeable and friction not expected. Anything that doesn’t reach an agreement will not be dealt with in this session. In regard to the revision of the decriminalization of the special allowance fund Accounting Act (會計法), Lin said this effort will be left for the new legislators next session.

DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said the party was against the idea of passing bills in the remaining tenure of the current Legislature, but changed its mind when the proposed bills included only agreeable revisions. He said the ruling party and the opposition had reached an agreement about closed-door negotiations, however Ker insisted the more controversial revisions should be left to the newly elected representatives who will be sworn in on Feb. 1. Members of the “Indigenous People Actions Coalition of Taiwan” (IPACT) protested outside the legislative Yuan yesterday. They accused the extraordinary session, especially a proposed bill dealing with the controversial Aboriginal Autonomy Act, to be ignoring due process.